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If you’re feeling lonely or if you’ve ever felt unseen, if you’re emboldened by solitude or secretly longing for it: Welcome to The Lonely Stories. This cathartic collection of essays illuminates an experience that so few of us openly discuss. Some stories are heartbreaking, such as Jesmyn Ward’s reckoning with the loss of her husband and Dina Nayeri’s reflection on immigrating to a foreign country. Others are witty, such as Lev Grossman’s rueful tale of heading to the woods or Anthony Doerr’s struggles with internet addiction. Still others celebrate the clarity of solitude, like Claire Dederer’s journey toward sobriety and Lidia Yuknavitch’s sensual look at desire. Thoughtful and affirming, The Lonely Stories reveals the complexities of an emotion we’ve all felt—reminding us that we're not alone.
Natalie Eve Garrett is an artist and a writer. She's the editor of Eat Joy: Stories & Comfort Food from 31 Celebrated Writers and The Artists' and Writers' Cookbook: A Collection of Stories with Recipes. A graduate of Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design, Natalie lives with her husband, daughter, and son in a town outside D.C.
Amy Shearn is the author of the novels The Mermaid of Brooklyn, How Far Is the Ocean from Here, and Unseen City, Gold Medal winner of the 2021 Independent Publisher Book Award for Literary Fiction. She is a senior editor at Medium, and her work has appeared in The New York Times, Slate, Literary Hub, and many other publications. Shearn has an MFA from the University of Minnesota and currently lives in Brooklyn with her two children.
Peter Ho Davies is the author, most recently, of A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself. His other books include The Fortunes, winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Award, and The Welsh Girl, long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. His short stories have appeared in Harper’s Magazine, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, and Granta, and have been anthologized in The O. Henry Prize Stories and The Best American Short Stories.
Maile Meloy is the author of three novels, two short story collections, a middle-grade trilogy, and a picture book. Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker and The Best American Short Stories and on Selected Shorts and This American Life. She has received The Paris Review’s Aga Khan Prize, the PEN/ Malamud Award, the E. B. White Award, two California Book Awards, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.